Leaden skies, as dull as Peterborough after the January sales, broke spectacularly at 2pm. By the end of the day we were in a heatwave. Is this the start of the Long Hot Summer of 2022????
At Knepp, His Gloriousity kicked about a bit during the noon period, with one fresh male coming down to the track to feed on one of Neil's shrimpy baits (the one with cherry-stoned fox scat), then went sapping on a nearby sap run oak.
At 2.30, a male launched itself at a passing White Stork, witnessed by 25 people...
Then Herself was found visiting a muddy place -
We also watched a female lay an egg - the first definite egg seen laid here (and I think anywhere else?).
Emperors were wonderfully active during the afternoon.
But the day got hijacked by another Large Tortoiseshell. We have seen 3-5 individuals here these last few days -
Note that in the coming heatwave Emperors are likely to conk out during the heat of the day, from 3-5pm, and then have an evening flight.
Soon, the males will start taking the mornings off altogether, rousing like ageing rock stars around noon. They will become increasingly territorial.
This is clearly a very good Purple Emperor season, but their activity will become heat suppressed.
Also, last week's high winds seem to have blown some / many of them to pasture's new. We're getting records from unusual places, partly due to a good emergence and partly due to wind dispersal.